Every woman needs a fan club.
For when your mind whispers you aren’t good enough, friends knock it down and declare you are, in fact, more than enough
And by fan club I mean friends. Like actual, human women who know, love, and support you. The problem is making new friends as a grown woman is nearly impossible. It requires a lot—time, effort, and honesty.
Time. All moms know time is not always on their side. Work, activities, meal prep, and cleaning are just some of what each day requires. Who has the time to chat with an unfamiliar face? I mean, we could stay home? The kids could just play in their own rooms? Who really wants small talk?
Effort. Playdates are a good starting place to make a new friend, but it requires effort.
Making the plan. Showing up. And not scaring away said potential new friend by acting like a moron or saying something off-color. Not looking like a homeless person. And if this playdate is at your own home, making sure it doesn’t look like a forest troll has taken up residence.
Honesty. We all want to keep up appearances. I am not struggling. I am not sad. My marriage is not in a hard place. Whatever it is, these aren’t the typical new friend conversations. So we skim the surface and make happy small talk. Then we return to our messy lives and wonder why we took the time and effort to basically let our kids live their best lives.
I have miraculously hung on to the same playdate friends for a few years. Years, people! And a few times, I have allowed myself to really open up. But it’s easier to stay on the positive and bask in the glory of having actual adult interaction.
Then there was the thought . . . what if I REALLY opened up to these women?
What if I told them what was really going on in my life? How would they react? Would I feel stupid? Would they gossip later?
But then I reassured myself these surface friends had become more. And I shared. And I listened as they began to share, too.
Over the course of the years, we have met for the kids, something has shifted. The time I once thought wasted. The effort I once thought pointless. The pride that held my honesty hostage. It all made sense now.
These women had become my friends. No, not like we-have-a-playdate friends. But the kind who have pushed me through my deepest fears and shown up in the most magical ways when I needed them most.
They have seen me at my worst. And I’m OK with it.
None of this—none of this—would have ever happened if the floodgates would have held tight.
We could have just stayed the course like the majority of adult friendships. We could have continued to look our best before heading over to each other’s homes. We could have chosen our topics more carefully. We could have. But we didn’t. And now we have become each other’s biggest fans. No judgment. No pretense.
Now, you may be sitting alone thinking this could never happen to you. But I’m here to tell you I was there. I truly believed I wasn’t worthy of someone else’s time, effort, and honesty. I turned down countless playdates because of this way of thinking. It was only when I showed up time and time again that the relationships were able to form.
It takes time. It takes effort. And most of all it takes a leap of faith that you can share yourself honestly with another human. You might be surprised what comes back your way. You might even end up with your own fan club.
Previously published on the author’s blog